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A mobile app to enhance employability

Oct 28, 2011

An innovative m-learning module developed by the British Council and Avon Mobility Solutions will help potential job seekers in India to enhance employability by improving their vocabulary, CV composition and soft skills.

Can a credible storyline, a set of characters in animation format, and ninety-bullet episodes streamed onto the mobile handset help you get a job? Perhaps they can, going by what the developers of a recently launched m-learning package for job hunters say. 

TH17_THERN_JOB_810219f.jpg'Jobseekers,' an innovative m-learning module jointly developed by the British Council and value-added service provider Avon Mobility Solutions, seeks to enhance the employability of those looking for a job by delivering audio-visual content to their 2G/3G mobile phones.

The content — in the form of 90-second video cards — is delivered to mobile users subscribing to the product in the form of a URL that can be viewed on the Wireless Application Protocol site.

The learning curve, which involves vocabulary, pronunciation, composing CVs, preparing for interviews and honing soft skills, is spread over three months with the subscriber receiving one video card a day.

“We have kept the price point at the lowest possible level…In fact, at just Re. 1 per video card the content comes cheaper than a daily cup of tea,” said Rony Zachariah, CEO, Avon Mobility.

The soft skill modules are expected to be relevant, particularly to youth of Tier-II and Tier-III towns where there is relatively scant access to English language learning facilities. “We are also looking at other ways of delivering the content,” Mr. Zachariah said.

‘Jobseekers' has been initially locked in an exclusive arrangement, whereby it is now only available to the 900 million subscribers of Tata DOCOMO, though negotiations are under way to make it available on other telecom platforms.

While the content is available in a view-only streaming form, or can be downloaded for revisits on mobile phones (each episode about 2 Mb with a cumulative file size of about 180 Mb), it is also accessible via the Internet against credit card/debit card payment (www.enrichyourenglish. com/jobseekers.html).

The content, largely involving situation-based narratives centred on four characters Neha, Arun, Farah and Rohit, who are looking for a job, and an enigmatic gentleman in the role of friend-philosopher-guide. Each character seeks a job in a different sector — food and retail, hospitality, and the call centre industry — with Rohit's case being more offbeat as he dreams of becoming a Bollywood star.

“This exciting venture in digital content distribution marks a first for us in India,” said Paul Sellers, Director, South India of British Council, a pioneer in content creation for mobile-learning platforms.

The content was put together under the supervision of English language experts of the British Council, while the Avon partnership took care of the wrap-around graphics and presentation, he said.

The product summates the feedback from extensive market research, right from homing in on employability enhancement as one of the most pressing needs in the Indian context to the Indian English accent used in the animated series, says Nirupa Fernandez, who heads the examinations division at the British Council.

The British Council-Avon partnership is already working on the theme for animation series sequel, which would focus on enhancing employee performance.

Source : The Hindu
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